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Category: CSI - Slashed
> Nick/other male
Characters: Jim Brass
, Nick Stokes
, Episode Related
, First Time
, Hurt ComfortWarnings: None
Post ep to "A Bullet Runs through it Part 2". A rather unexpected source shows Jim Brass a fierce friendship in his hour of need that makes him question just how deep his emotions for the CSI run.
Seek you a Priceless Treasure, Seek you a Golden Friend – Mary Summer Rain
When he stepped out of the emotionally overbearing room onto the front deck, hat still clutched between two trembling hands, Jim Brass exhaled shakily. He reached up with one hand and wiped at the tracks on his face before setting his jaw and glancing up at the sky.
It was easier than looking at the windows where several fellow cops were watching him, whispering to one another and looking accusingly at him. Judging him for something he already punished himself for ever since finding out the true events.
Ignoring the hairs standing up on the back of his neck, his gut telling him he was still being watched he raised his Uniform hat and placed it gently on his head tugging it down slightly before inhaling again.
Risking one last glance behind him Jim caught Mrs Bell's glassy eyes and nodded minutely. Her lip trembled but she offered as much of an encouraging smile as she could. Feeling himself tearing up again he turned away and headed towards his car.
The house seemed so quiet when he finally managed to unlock his door; it was almost unusually eerie especially with the surrounding darkness. Sighing Jim pulled off his hat where he then stuck it under his arm as he tugged off his white gloves. He moved into the bedroom where his hanger for his uniform was still placed on the door and slowly began pulling off his uniform.
He faltered at the badge on the breast of the shirt, sucking in a sharp breath and attempting to breathe through the ache that had suddenly clutched at his heart. He could feel the shirt bunching up in his hands as his fists curled in and he rubbed the gold star with his thumb then let out an exasperated sigh before hanging up his shirt.
He stepped back in nothing but his T-shirt and boxers until he could feel his legs hit the edge of his bed and sat down heavily. He felt like he should be crying but something in him wouldn't allow it for a second time. He resorted instead then to rubbing a hand down his weary face and let out a groan, dropping back onto the bed where he closed his eyes.
Jim knew willing it away never worked, had known this for well over 30 years on the force but still attempted it briefly before giving up entirely. He draped his arm over his face to shield his eyes from the light coming in from the window and could pretend that the insistent prickles at his tear ducks were from the pressure of his arm.
How long he lay there he didn't know, had giving up on counting the minutes and was pretty sure he may have even had dropped off for a while so he found himself jumping slightly when his phone started ringing loudly from the living room.
Half-tempted to ignore it, almost utterly convinced it was going to be a reporter or a cop who hadn't had his chance to make him feel like crap or even some nosy civilian thinking they knew better and wanted to tell him what a bad person he was. He rolled away from it and let out a relived sigh when it stopped only to groan when it started up again almost instantly.
Whoever it was wasn't giving up without a fight so cursing lightly he pushed himself up and stumbled slightly into the living room before reaching over and answering the inevitable.
"Brass." He said heavily and pinched his nose as he scrunched up his eyes.
"Jesus Jim you sound like a man who just received a flogging."
The smallest smile pulled at his lips as he naturally relaxed at Catherine's voice. He manoeuvred himself over to the sofa and sat down gracelessly.
"Well it was near enough." He admitted and could practically feel Catherine's sympathy down the phone.
"Jim it wasn't your fault." Catherine said gently and Jim nodded at nobody.
"Okay." He said quietly.
"Seriously Jim, don't you dare take no crap from no one. It was an accident in a chaotic environment. You know we've got your back right?"
One thing that could be said for Catherine Willows, in a fight you sure wanted her on your side otherwise you'd better run for the hills because this woman was not above using your scrotum for kick boxing practice. Jim found himself giving the smallest of smirks at that thought.
"I know Cath. How did Gil's Community demonstration go?" he asked, not really caring about the answer but desperately wanting to change the topic.
There was a shuffling sound, voices in the background before he could hear Catherine's voice fade slightly.
"Jim, you still there? It's Grissom."
'Figures', Jim thought humourlessly, 'they've tag teamed me.'
"Yeah I'm still here Gil. Did you hear my question?"
"Yes and to answer your question it went.... 'well' I suppose but that's hardly the right word. The people had their answers and seemed satisfied."
"Good, I...that's good. Listen, Gil I appreciate you and Catherine checking up on me but I'm very tired. I just want to get some sleep okay?" Jim said dropping his head back against the sofa.
"No, no I understand. We just wanted to see...Jim, you're a good man." Gil's voice changing from understanding to assertive was enough to make Jim open his eyes but he remained silent none the less.
"Yeah, I'm still here. I'm going to go now. Thank you, and thank Catherine for me." And before Gil could answer Jim hung up.
Giving himself a moment to clench and unclench his fists Jim then stood up and returned to his bedroom where he pulled back the comforter of his bed. He climbed in, pulling it up to his shoulders and buried his face into the white sterile looking pillow and tried to pretend for just a couple of hours that the he didn't hate himself right then.
Jim drifted in and out of unconsciousness, his body jerking slightly every now and again as he woke to the sounds of gunfire that weren't really there. He was caught in the place between being awake and being asleep when he could hear knocking at his door. He forced his groggy mind to react and slowly watched the world come into focus.
"G'way." He mumbled into his pillow and pulled the duvet up further over his head, moaning when the knocking carried on insistently. Clearly today was the day every one insisted on speaking with him, regardless of whether he answered or not.
"Okay, okay." He grouched quietly and pushed up, swinging his legs over the side of the bed. He rubbed tiredly at his eyes and got up with a grunt, grabbing a pair of jeans and his dressing gown on the way to the door. Tugging them on he cursed when the knocks sounded again.
"Alright!" he yelled brokenly and reached for the door handle before tugging on it. His mind berated him for not checking through his peephole to see who it was but right then he found he didn't really care.
His eyebrows did lift slightly though when he came face to face with Nick Stokes in casual clothes and wearing a determined expression.
"Nick? What're you doing here?" Jim managed to ask after a moment, cringing slightly at the throaty tone of his own voice.
"I've come to hang out...regardless of whether you think that's a good idea or not." Nick said and his voice had taken on a no nonsense tone, something that was occurring more and more recently, that Jim found himself stepping back slightly to open the door further despite his misgivings.
"Did Catherine send you?" Jim asked exasperated as Nick strolled past him heading into the living room. The younger man turned to him with an eyebrow raised and settled himself into a corner of the sofa.
"Why would Catherine send me?" he asked genuinely confused.
"Why would you come here on your own?" Jim retorted.
"Because you're my friend and you're going through Hell." Nick said with an honest look on his face.
Jim never had time to wipe the slightly stunned look off his own face and found himself sitting down at the other end of the sofa in bemusement. Nodding to himself Nick twisted slightly to retrieve a bag that Jim hadn't noticed the man had and pulled out a bottle of scotch.
"Now I'm not recommending getting rat-assed or anything but you didn't strike me as a simple Bud lite kinda guy." Nick said with some of his more recognisable softness in his voice, nervousness probably now that he had practically bulldozed his way into Jim Brass's home.
Jim stared at him for a minute before clearing his throat. "No I...I do drink it too."
He watched the younger man fiddle with the lid for a moment before he managed to find his voice again.
"Nick, you don't need to be here. It's okay, I was just sleeping anyway."
Nick continued to screw the lid off but he was watching Jim from the corner of his eyes as he did so, a solemn look crossing his features. He glanced back down again at the bottle nonchantly.
"Kinda hard to sleep when you wake yourself up every few minutes with memories you'd rather forget."
Jim managed to keep his features schooled this time in a calm manner.
"You been watching me Stokes?" he asked feeling a twinge of guilt at the defensiveness that crept in to his tone.
Nick had finally managed to remove the bottle top and placed both bottle and lid onto the coffee table before them. He turned slightly then and looked understandably at the currently suspended Captain.
"No...did it myself for a good few months. Still do occasionally. Hearing things in my dreams, seeing things that I'm not entirely sure actually happened or whether my minds added them to an already chaotic mess of memories." Nick said quietly before standing and walking into the kitchen to retrieve a couple of glasses.
Inwardly kicking himself at his lack of tact Jim began to stand but as Nick walked back in he placed a hand on the older man's shoulder and pushed him gently back into the sofa.
"Nicky, I'm...Jesus, I'm sorry. I didn't mean..." Nick held up a hand and Jim had to swallow down a wave of grief as a flash of Bell's wife doing the same flickered across his mind.
"Brass...Jim, hush. This isn't about me this is about you. Those guys at the Precinct can say what they want but you're hurting too. I just...I thought..." Nick twirled the bottle between his hands lightly before inhaling, "whenever I'm having a hard time you seem to know what to do. Plus I still owe you one since...since Crane so I thought that this time...I could be here for you."
Jim could feel his hands trembling again but firmly told himself that now wasn't the time to let out his grief. He wasn't going to cry in front of Nick Stokes, the boy didn't deserve that kind of maudlin behaviour.
But a part of him knew that that was Captain Brass talking. Captain Brass is a hard assed Cop with a dry sense of humour and a sharp wit.
Jim Brass though currently felt like the World was pushing down heavily on his shoulders, pushing heavily at his heart and Jim Brass could feel himself tremble moreso when Nick Stokes looked at him with nothing but compassion.
Captain Brass had seen Nick Stokes cry, both when he kicked down a door to get to him before a mad stalker could kill him and when Nick Stokes had endured a torture Brass wouldn't wish on even his worst enemies.
So Jim Brass thought, what the Hell. If Nick Stokes, the Texas 'Don't-fuck-with-me-or-I'll-pin-you-to-a-wall' cowboy, could cry why the Hell couldn't he?
So he couldn't resist when he felt his eyes get glassy, even if he did still hide behind his hand. He may be letting himself mourn a little in front of Nick but that didn't make him feel any less embarrassed about it.
It didn't seem to matter much though once he felt an arm come around his shoulders and Jim leant into the body that now drew him closer into a warmth he hadn't felt for a long time.